The cost of solar panels has dropped significantly in recent years. Combined with an increase in panel efficiency, solar power is more practical than ever. Homeowners can now reduce their ongoing electricity costs by adding a solar energy system and receiving a portion of their power from the sun.
There are two major components that must be installed within a system to receive solar energy for your home. Understanding the function of the solar panel and the power inverter helps in making an informed decision as you move forward with your residential installation.
Placement of solar panels
Each solar panel can utilize sunlight received from different angles throughout the day. Multiple solar panels are installed to conform to the specific shape of your roof. A protruding chimney is not an obstacle, since the layout of the panels can be configured to conform to the available roof space. All of the available roof surface may not be needed for a smaller system.
The intensity of sunlight varies as the sun moves across the sky, resulting in a changing level of electrical output. Most solar energy users remain on the electrical grid and only pay for additional electricity as needed. Your financial savings build up each day as your own energy output is used and the demand for electric power from your utility is minimized.
Conversion of sunlight to electricity
A separate component is necessary to convert the solar energy from roof panels to a suitable electricity for household use. A device referred to as an inverter is used for the conversion. The inverter also ensures that your electrical output is compatible with your power company. Additional utility power can then be supplied to the system instantaneously if needed.
A slightly different inverter is used by energy consumers who are off the electrical grid. Such a system is likely to include the use of batteries to store power. In addition to the immediate conversion of solar power during daylight hours, the inverter converts stored battery power to produce household current when needed.
Many states permit homeowners to reduce their electricity bills even more by allowing excess power to flow out to the grid. Many power meters can measure an outflow of electricity, potentially reducing your monthly bill to zero. Inverters connected to the grid will shut off immediately in the event of a grid outage to ensure the safety of linemen performing repairs.
Solar power systems vary in size and can accommodate each specific house design. Contact a solar energy installer, like Artisan Electric Inc, for more information about reducing or eliminating your electricity bill.